The days of the scarecrow are over. A team led by R K Bhatnagar at the Indian Agriculture Research Institute in Delhi have found that reflective ribbons, dubbed "dashes of fire" by ornithologists, tied a metre above standing crops, frighten birds away. The ribbons, spaced a metre-and-half apart and about a metre overground, sway in the breeze and reflect sunlight, keeping birds at bay.
Birds can render useless upto 80 per cent of a farmer's produce. Bhatnagar claims that "house crows alone are estimated to damage more than 65 per cent of the sunflower crop in Punjab." Now farmers can make light of the avian pests.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.